Canucks’ Schneider signs in Swiss league

Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider has agreed to a lockout deal with Ambri-Piotta of Switzerland’s National League “A”, according to the team website.

The move, while rumored for weeks, is certainly interesting from a players’ union perspective.

Schneider, 26, is Vancouver’s NHLPA rep and has been candidly outspoken about the current work stoppage:


Canucks’ Schneider on decertification: “It’s a very serious decision”

Schneider thinks NHL will blink on contract rights

Schneider on first CBA offer: “We’re not panicking”

Adding to the surprise? Two weeks ago, Schneider had also reportedly “given up” on playing in Europe and seemed committed to sticking in North American until a new CBA had been reached.

Now it appears that’s no longer the case.

The former Boston College standout — who holds both U.S. and Swiss citizenship — will join an Ambri-Piotta side that’s had mixed results with NHL imports.

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty played just five games for the struggling club before abruptly returning to North America, yet ex-NHLers Jason Williams and Richard Park have been revelations for the team — Williams leads all scorere with 20 points while Park sits in fourth, with 15.

Schneider is coming off his best year in Vancouver that saw him post career-highs across the board: 33 games, 20-8-1 record, .937 save percentage and 1.96 GAA.

He supplanted longtime No. 1 goalie Roberto Luongo in an opening-round playoff loss to Los Angeles and proceeded to sign a three-year, $12 million extension with the club in June.

Update: The Province’s Ben Kuzma sheds some light on Schneider’s thought process for signing overseas…

PHT Morning Skate: Beat writers survey predicts Ducks will win Cup

Corey Perry, Frederik Andersen
AP Photo
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

In a survey of 29 beat writers, the Anaheim Ducks emerged as the clear favorite to win the Stanley Cup. If you’ll recall, they have that in common with the EA Sports simulation. (Boston Globe)

Alex Ovechkin would pick an Olympic hit against Jaromir Jagr as the biggest check of his life. (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

Here are the highlights from Minnesota’s 5-4 victory over Colorado:

The Montreal Canadiens seem committed to using Alex Galchenyuk as a center throughout the 2015-16 campaign. (The Canadian Press)

The NHL recently enlisted its players to read off some not so mean tweets. (USA Today)

Bills coach Rex Ryan talked about the Sabres in Thursday’s press conference. (

Frederik Andersen may have the Anaheim Ducks’ starting job for now, but with John Gibson still a big part of their plans, Andersen has to keep proving himself. (Orange County Register)

Niemi blanks Pens, notches two assists in Stars debut

Antti Niemi, Sidney Crosby, Patric Hornqvist

DALLAS (AP) — Antti Niemi recorded his 33rd career shutout and assisted on two goals in his Dallas debut, as the Stars beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-0 on Thursday night in the season opener for both.

Ales Hemsky had a power-play goal and an assist.

Rookie Matthias Janmark scored on his first shot on his first shift in an NHL game to make it 1-0. The Stars acquired Niemi and Janmark in trades earlier this year.

Dallas scored on two of five power plays. Jamie Benn, the NHL’s leading scorer last season, had a power-play goal in the third period.

Niemi made 37 saves to improve his career record against the Penguins to 5-1-1. He withstood a flurry in the final minute after Pittsburgh pulled goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for an extra skater.

Fleury had 21 saves.

The Stars are 4-0-1 in their last five home games against Pittsburgh, and have won three in a row overall.

Janmark skated down the slot, took a pass from Hemsky and shot between Fleury’s legs at 1:39 of the first.

The Penguins dominated the latter half of the period, but couldn’t score. Niemi’s best stop was a reaching glove save of Rod Scuderi’s drive from the blue line with less than 3 minutes remaining. Pittsburgh outshot the Stars 10-4 in the first.

Hemsky scored at 5:42 of the second on Dallas’ first power play. His shot from the top of the right faceoff circle went in over Fleury’s right shoulder.

The Penguins again had an advantage in shots, 13-11. Pittsburgh had chances in close, but Niemi turned those away. Midway through the second, John Klingberg cleared away a loose puck from in front of the net.

Seven seconds into the Stars’ fourth power play of the third period, Jamie Benn tipped in Jason Spezza‘s shot from the right point.

NOTES: Dallas acquired Janmark as part of a March trade that sent Erik Cole to Detroit. The rookie had been playing in the Swedish Hockey League. . San Jose traded Niemi’s rights to the Stars in June for a seventh-round draft pick. Also making their Dallas debuts were LW Patrick Sharp and D Johnny Oduya, teammates with Chicago’s Stanley Cup champions last season. . In his first game for the Penguins, Phil Kessel played in his 447th straight game. . Pittsburgh was 0 for 3 on the power play.